The Ring of Kerry, a loop around the majestic Iveragh Peninsula, offers some of the most spectacular views in Ireland and has been a tourist hotspot for centuries. The stunning beauty of the natural landscapes here include some of the most dramatic coastal views in Europe, as the wild Atlantic meets the rugged Kerry coastline.
Aside from the spectacular vistas you can expect on this tour, the area is also noted for the variety of ancient monuments here. During your tour you may spot standing stones raised by Ireland’s very earliest inhabitants or the remnants of Iron Age forts dotted across a landscape forged 10,000 years ago by the last Ice Age.
The Ring of Kerry takes you through some of Ireland’s most breath-taking landscapes and no visit to the Emerald Isle would be complete without seeing these stunning locations.
This tour departs from three locations in Limerick, starting at the city’s Tourist Office on Arthur’s Quay (08:30), continuing to the Dublin Road near the renowned flagpoles of the University of Limerick campus (08:40), and then from the Adare Heritage Centre (09:00).
First we journey through the scenic countryside of Limerick before crossing the county line and entering the Kingdom of Kerry, as it’s sometimes known in Ireland. Our route takes us into the town of Killorglin, home to one of the oldest festivals in the world – the Puck Fair. Every August a Kerry mountain goat is named King Puck and raised above the town centre on a platform, even though the reason for doing so has long since been forgotten!
Once we cross the River Laune, you’ll be able to enjoy a spectacular panorama of Dingle Bay and the wonderfully sandy Inch Beach (which is far longer than its name would suggest). You might also spot the rugged Blasket Islands rising defiantly from the Atlantic Ocean.
The tour continues through the sleepy village of Waterville, a popular haunt for the famed silent era actor Charlie Chaplin (a statue was erected in his honour by the promenade in 1998). In Waterville you’ll see some exceptional vistas of Ballinskelligs Bay and the imposing Skelling Islands off shore. The larger island, Skellig Michael, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the ancient monastery at its peak and has been used as a filming location for the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII.
Your tour continues along the coast and there will be several opportunities to get off the coach for some memorable photos before we arrive in the pretty village of Sneem. We stop briefly at this charming little hamlet and you can admire the picturesque bridge and pleasant squares in the centre of town, as well as the colourfully painted houses before returning to the coach.
After our stop in Sneem, we turn inland and make our way to the Killarney National Park. This is arguably the most visually spectacular and most admired National Park in Ireland and you’ll be able to enjoy amazing panoramas of the world famous Lakes of Killarney and Black Valley from the viewing areas of Molls Gap and Ladies View (which some say is a good spot to look out for leprechauns).
We also stop at the picturesque Torc Waterfall, an 18 metre high cascade of water in the forested Friars Glen area for a brief chance to stretch your legs before moving on to our final stop of the tour, Killarney. You’ll be able to grab a coffee or other refreshments and perhaps take in some shopping at one of the town’s fine craft shops before returning to the bus for the journey back to Limerick.
Your tour will end in Limerick City at around 19:30 following a day of inspiring memories you won’t soon forget!
“We experienced Giant’s Causeway with Ronan today and without doubt, it was the best tour we have ever been on. “RoRo” was a phenomenal guide. He is so knowledgable but also funny and quick-witted. Having such an intimate group in the 16 seat van made all the difference, and we will certainly join you again when we return. Can’t say enough about the tour, the company, and Ronan. Cheers!
Nancy Miller, Palo Alto, California